• An educational failure

    We live at a time like never before where you can learn anything you want from the comfort of your home. For any given topic you can find numerous articles, blog posts, or videos covering that topic from the mundane to the esoteric, and like any healthy academic environment, find diverse opinions on the issue to maximize your understanding of any controversy or nuance.

    When I was a kid in the 90s, I wanted to learn how to pick a lock. There was one book at the library on the subject. It was a 10 minute bike ride to the library from the house. The book was never in stock. Always checked out, or perhaps long since lost. I never found out. I also never learned to pick locks. Now there are hundreds of videos on lockpicking in YouTube. I regularly learn how to do new things, adding to my skills toolbox, using YouTube or other resources.

    Which makes this article about college kids needing education in basic life skills all the more concerning. There is no reason for someone not to know something due to a lack of access to information. Every single topic they mention is covered in great detail on many free sites. Sadly, I think this is more due to a kind of learned helplessness in which they throw up their hands saying “I don’t know how to do that so I never will” rather than “I don’t know how to do that, so I’m going to research how”.

    I suspect this is a problem with poor parenting. Parents who wanted to be friends rather than disciplinarians. Parents who were too tired to correct and educate. Parents who were too rushed to make the child do it for themselves.

  • Putting the user first

    I turned on the Apple TV to buy Finding Dory in iTunes for my fish-obsessed two-year old to watch. I used Siri voice control of go to the movie, but for a few moments I was confused. Where was the price?

    Apple was showing me that the movie I planned to buy from them was free on Netflix, which I also subscribe too. The UI is even designed to try to prevent me from buying something I don’t have to; I would have to navigate to a different page if I wanted to purchase. Any other company would have the free option burried and their purchase option big, bold, and pre-selected. As a user and a stockholder, I’m impressed.

    Update: From Paul Sufka:

    Re: your blog post. The Amazon Firestick has does the same thing — it will actually check YouTube and any services you subscribe to (although, doesn’t have iTunes access).

  • iOS 11 WWDC 17 wishlist

    Updated after announcements

    • Less bugs (don't expect that to be announced in stage)
    • Swipe-style keyboard (never going to happen)
    • Create a new note from the search field in Notes (unlikely)
    • Location/wifi based system settings (unlikely)
      • volume on or off
      • VPN on or off
    • Workflow-esque automation (possible someday)
    • Siri for third party notes, to-do, and maps apps (unlikely, possible, never)

    Notes and todos now have Siri-kit support.

    • Springboard management options (unlikely)
      • offer to delete unused apps added
      • sort by last used, most used, last updated

  • > Lax Verizon security costs guy $8,000

    Rob, on June 3, 2017:

    This guy had his phone number hijacked in a painfully easy way:

    After talking at length with customer service reps, I learned that the hacker did not need to give them my pin number or my social security number and was able to get approval to takeover my cell phone number with simple billing information.

    It cost him $8k in cryptocurrency.

    Sprint recently forced me to enable two factor authentication.

  • Posting to a Github-hosted Jekyll blog on iOS

    The text all gets written first in Drafts. When writing the text should always come first. Titles, tags, and images are a distraction; they can and should be addressed later. Also, Drafts is a universally great place to put any text, and those fragments can later turn into posts, making it the perfect place to start.

    From Drafts, the text is sent to Workflow.

    The command to do this is just a run workflow action with the name of the workflow to be run.

    The Drafts’s action can also be created from Workflow, which takes less taps.

    A long, complicated workflow then

    • requests a title
    • requests tags
    • adds correctly formatted metadata1
    • creates a correctly named text file for the Jekyll blogging platform
    • saves the file to the correct path and GitHub account using Working Copy

    The workflow can even add images. IMAGE1, IMAGE2 etc. are used as text placeholders when writing, then Workflow converts those to properly formatted links and requests the files to be uploaded be chosen from the system photo picker.

    Finally, I just need to enter a commit comment and push to Github where their servers will process the text file using Jekyll and publish.

    1. YAML front matter